UNWTO has announced more details of the upcoming Global Youth Tourism Summit, set to be held in Sorrento, Italy, from 27 June to 3 July.
The Summit, organized by UNWTO in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Tourism and the Italian National Tourist Board, will provide a unique opportunity for young people aged between 12 and 18 to share their vision for the future of the sector. For one week, 100 young delegates will network with and work alongside politicians, leading figures from across the tourism sector as well as from the worlds of entertainment and sports.
Against the backdrop of the BIT travel trade show in Milan, UNWTO Director for Europe Alessandra Priante joined representatives of the project partners to share more details of the landmark Summit. The inaugural event will be held around the theme of International Sustainable Tourism. The program will include interactive activities oriented towards the Sustainable Development Goals and how they interact with tourism, during which participants will learn how to build a sector that combines sustainability, culture, gastronomy, innovation and climate action.
Empowering the next generation
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili says: “The Global Youth Tourism Summit is a unique platform to celebrate and empower the next generation of tourism leaders. It will help build a lasting legacy by providing young people with the skills and knowledge they need to transform tourism not only in their communities but everywhere.” UNWTO Director for Europe Professor Priante added: “Tourism offers opportunities to the youth. But youth gives tourism the opportunity to become stronger and more resilient. We are extremely proud of the first generation of GYST-ers, who already show their promise and commitment to transform tourism – starting from their local communities.”
In Milan, the organizers confirmed that several Italian Ministries will be involved (education, foreign, south), as will a number of key UN institutions, including FAO, UNICEF and ITU. The Summit will bring together major international players convened by UNWTO, including the Global Tourism Economy Research Center of Macao, the Bella Vista Institute of Higher Education in Switzerland, the Azerbaijan National Tourism Agency, Hilton International, Mastercard Europe and MSC Crociere. Confirmed institutional guests will include Commissioner Gabriel, the UN’s ENVOY for YOUTH Jayathma Wickramanayake, some of the UNWTO Ambassadors for Responsible Tourism Valeria Mazza, Didier Drogba, Gino Sorbillo and many other international VIPs and influencers.
Hosts anticipate ‘unique experience’
“A moment of osmosis between past, present and future can only benefit Italy which is being reorganized and reborn. We believe in the contribution and enthusiasm of the generations of tomorrow, not only for the lessons they can teach us and for the necessary comparison of what will come next, but also because new opportunities arise from this dialogue, not only in terms of tourist offerings, but also in terms of tourist training,” says Enit President Giorgio Palmucci.
Felice Casucci, Councillor for Tourism of the Campania Region adds: “The institutional chain must be compact at a time when it is necessary to have a broad vision and focus on young people for a great international message of peace. Sorrento is a unique opportunity to put together a highly recognized tourist destination with a narrative that is open to the territorial contexts and regional identity values among the most exclusive and attractive in the world.”
The Mayor of Sorrento, Massimo Coppola says: “Our city is honored to host the first edition of Global Youth Tourism. The objective of the event is to bring participants, selected and from all over the world, to live a unique experience, promoting the comparison and ensure that the new generations can pursue the mission of environmental sustainability. To animate it will be young people aged between 12 and 18 years, who will confront themselves and contribute to the definition of the World Tourism Agenda 2030.”